CHEESEWERKS, co-owners Kevin “The Big Cheese” Durkee and Tom Douangmixay, have created a temple to cheese across from the Thompson Hotel at Bathurst and Wellington.">

Cheap Eat of the Week: a CHEESEWERKS sandwich in mac ‘n’ cheese form


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The masterminds behind CHEESEWERKS, co-owners Kevin “The Big Cheese” Durkee and Tom Douangmixay, have created a temple to cheese across from the Thompson Hotel at Bathurst and Wellington.

Using artisanal, specially-made, extra-crusty breads from St. John’s Bakery, along with cheeses from Canadian producers like Balderson, Upper Canada Cheese Company and Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, the menu is anchored by six signature grilled cheese sandwiches (as well as seasonal specialties), each inspired by Durkee and Douangmixay’s travels. For example, there’s the Chichen Itza with Oaxacan cheese, chicken and house-made salsa, or the Beijing with BBQ pork, hoisin, onions and asiago cheese.

One of our favourites is the Los Angeles grilled cheese sandwich, inspired by many Saturday mornings spent at Los Angeles farmers’ markets. At $8.50, the grilled cheese tastes of California, with creamy, slightly sharp havarti, smashed avocado, spicy arugula and homemade citrus compote in crusty, golden-brown Angeligus sourdough bread that’s grilled slowly to perfection, so that it’s just crispy enough.

And what’s even more delicious than a grilled cheese sandwich? Any of the grilled cheese specialties at CHEESEWERKS in macaroni ‘n’ cheese form, like the Los Angeles mac ‘n’ cheese ($9.50) — our pick for this week — with all the same fixings, plus aged cheddar, finished with a generous sprinkle of crispy breadcrumbs.

In addition to other customizations, like adding bacon ($2) or swapping cheeses or bread, CHEESEWERKS also offers fondue, house-made lemonade ($3) and sodas ($3), or selections of cheese and charcuterie to pair with Ontario wines and craft beers from the likes of Amsterdam Brewery, Beau’s, Sandbanks Estate Winery and Creekside Estate Winery.

CHEESEWERKS, 56 Bathurst St., 416-243-3327

Gizelle Lau is a food and travel writer and photographer in Toronto who lives from one meal to the next. Her column, Cheap Eat of the Week, highlights dishes that costs $10 or less. Follow her on Twitter for your daily dose of food from in/around the city.

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